Bass Clef??

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by russianspy, Oct 20, 2000.

  1. russianspy


    Oct 20, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    i've been playing bass for about a year and guitar for about two years now and can read tabs instantly. in my high school band i was playing my friends bass, and the band director heard me playin. he thought i was pretty good and wanted to know if i wanted to be in jazz band next year when the current bass player graduates. he said i would need to be able to read well and it would be good to start now to help me sight read different pieces. my question is, what are the notes of the lines on the bass clef. i can already read keys and sharps and flats, i just need to know the notes. thanks advance for your help!!
  2. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Here is a crappy representation of the Bass clef:


    Hope that helps!
  3. russianspy


    Oct 20, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    Thanks man!!! That's exactly what I needed!!!!
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    No problem. Good luck with the reading!
  5. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Here's a good mneumonic device.

    The notes on the lines, starting from the bottom and working up, are:


    The notes in the spaces, starting from the bottom and working up, are:


    Also, if you know the treble clef well, and you're good at your intervals, you can also remember that the first ledger line (the little free-floating line just hanging out outside the staff) above the bass clef, is middle C. (So, hence the space underneath that ledger line, is B, and then the first line underneath that B, is A, and so on....).
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Russian Spy, it isn't really clear from what you write whether or not you can read and interpret rhythms on a bass or treble clef. You say you read tab really well, but some tabs don't indicate rhythms and some do. Actually, I'm guessing, but from what you said, you may not be fully prepared to do sight reading at the speed required if all you know is notes, keys, sharps and flats. Too, I'm not really sure if you know how to interpret other common symbols on music notation, such as repeat signs, or codas or several others needed to know how to follow the organization of a song. It also isn't clear if you know how chords are constructed. You will need to know that if you are sometimes given charts, actual music notataion to play from. If you know this already, please excuse me for belaboring the obvious.

    If you don't, I suggest you get any one of many books available that teach you notation. Many are written for keyboard, so they are in treble clef, but they are helpful with the symbols and rhythms. There is one excellent book that might help you..."Note Reading Studies for Bass Guitar." Check it out at or Barnes and Not only does it explain all of the above, it has excellent drills from the simplest to far more advanced exercizes. Good luck.

    Jason Oldsted

    [Edited by JasonOldsted on 10-22-2000 at 12:17 AM]
  7. thayer182


    Oct 1, 2000
    I can read all of that sheet music stuff... but I often ask myself "why?!" why read sheet music? maybe it's cause I'm a rock bassist, and there's no need for sheet music. tabs are just fine for what I do =) and a heck of a lot easier than sheet music.
  8. russianspy


    Oct 20, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    This is a reply to what Jason said. I've had piano lessons before although I haven't played in forever I already know how repeats and codas and time signatures and dynamics and all that stuff work. I've forgoten a lot of the musical stuff but I'm a bass drummer in my high school band so i remember all the rhythmic stuff. The reason I'm trying to get prepared so early is that our band is very prestigious and in my band class we'll play a new piece every day and all the horns and everyone can sight read like, right away, and i can sight read very well on drums too due to the high amount we practice. I figured, man, i better get crackin so I won't be far behind when it comes to actual note reading next year!!!! and thanks is due to jazzbo for the mneumonic device. I remember having


    on the treble clef when i took piano. thanks to everyone who answered all my questions!!! thanks alot!!!! and jason, i'll be sure to check out that book!!!!! :)